Say what you want about the “Reverend” Al Sharpton, but the man has some interesting priorities.
The notorious race-hustling con man has identified yet another corner of America allegedly plagued by racial inequality, and it’s a doozy.
The Huffington Post reports that Sharpton thinks the weed industry — and I don’t mean gardening — is too white. Yes, really:
Sharpton, a prominent civil rights leader and founder of the National Action Network, will be the keynote speaker at the Cannabis World Congress Business Exposition in New York on Friday. The event will mark the first time Sharpton will speak publicly about the decriminalization of marijuana use and call for an increase in diversity and better inclusion of people of color within the industry.
“Just because I don’t use marijuana as a Minister, does not mean I have the right to impose my moral values on others,” Sharpton said in statement sent to HuffPost. “However, I will challenge the cannabis industry and its distributors in states where it is legal to support civil rights movements and ensure that we are not disproportionately excluded from business opportunities” […]
Sharpton also aims to help identify ways people of color can become more involved in the industry where it operates legally, which is growing at a rapid rate and expects to surpass $21 billion in 2020. While it is hard to track down official statistics on the demographics of cannabis business owners, Buzzfeed’s Amanda Chicago Lewis investigated the issue and discovered that less than three dozen of the almost 3,600 storefront marijuana dispensaries in the country are black-owned ― about 1 percent.
Where to begin with this insanity?
First, despite the “where it operates legally” fig leaf, let’s keep in mind that he’s talking about an “industry” that’s currently illegal (other than for medicinal use) in 42 out of the 50 states. Sharpton wants more black Americans in an enterprise that will run them afoul with the law…and, his idiot liberal audience being idiot liberals, nobody will see any contradiction between this and his complaints about racist police or black incarceration rates.
Second, there are a great many black parents who would be rightfully disgusted at the idea of their sons and daughters getting closer to that industry rather than further away. As Sheriff David Clarke explained in a 2015 profile for National Review:
“The only reason we went on that lock-’em-up drive in the first place,” he suggests, “was black mayors who went to Congress and pleaded for help. Because of the violence, they pleaded with Congress for tougher laws on crack cocaine. Black mayors did that. Yet we’re made to believe it was white congressmen who wanted to throw these black guys in jail.”
Finally, while a growing number of conservatives in recent years have agreed with the Left on marijuana legalization, the fact remains that the drug is a source of numerous ills, both to the individual and to society. Yes, it should be a state issue rather than a federal one under our Constitution, but I hope libertarians and more traditional conservatives can agree, at the very least, that we should take more time to study the results in the states that have legalized pot before deciding whether to legitimize it anywhere else.
And no matter where you stand on the issue, I think we can all agree that for Al Sharpton to actively promote, rather than just tolerate, drug dealing is the height of insanity.